No. of Recommendations: 35
"Face it left, the prez is a liar."

No he isn't

Democrats, however, say Petraeus said nothing of the sort, either then or since. “Gen. Petraeus as director of the CIA has been completely consistent,” said Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, who attended the Senate Intelligence Committee briefing.

Republicans countered that Petraeus testified to Congress on Septe. 14 that the attack was an outgrowth of the protest. So the new front line in this debate consuming America’s most powerful people is characteristically absurd: Who has the better recall of what was said two months ago? “My recollection was … [Petraeus said] it was the result of the protest … but he also said in the group there were some extremists and some were al-Qaida affiliates,” said Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. King fired back, ”I told him … I had a very different recollection of that.”

Apparently the members did not take notes at the Sept. 14 hearing. Fortunately, we have Google. Here’s what ABC News reported Petraeus said way back in September: The attack “began as a spontaneous protest against the film ‘The Innocence of Muslims,’ but Islamic militants who may have links to Al Qaeda used the opportunity to launch an attack.” Essentially the Democrats’ position. Unfortunately, that briefing was also closed to the press, so any reports from it are subject to the same partisan spin.

Here’s hoping the hearings will expose the absurdity of the Republican scandal-mongering in the first place. The entire controversy and anti-Rice case is built on a fundamentally incomplete reading of what the administration actually claimed in the wake of the attack. While the administration did say the attack grew out of a protest, they never said there was zero terrorist involvement. In fact, they said the opposite. “And then as [the protest] unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons,” Rice said in the very Sunday show appearances after the attack that have been used against her.

That’s very different from claiming the attack was a purely organic protest, which is what Republicans claim she said. In fact, as Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out, it was McCain himself who was “the key figure in spreading this lie about Rice.”
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